ILLINOIS WINS 1-0 MATCH AGAINST IPFW IN FINAL TUNE UP BEFORE MAC
DeKALB, IL- Bruce Conrad (Downers Grove / South) scored for
the third consecutive match as the Northern Illinois University
men's soccer team knocked off Indiana University-Purdue University
Fort Wayne 1-0 on Friday (September 24). The win is Northern Illinois'
fourth straight and fifth in their last six matches. NIU moves to
5-3 on the season, while IPFW falls to 5-4.
Conrad's goal came at the 42:12 mark in a full offensive attack
on the net. After IPFW keeper Peter Hachaj deflected a Jose Alvarado
(Elgin / Burlington Central) shot along the goal line, an unmarked
Conrad snuck in the back door to knock home the game winner. Steve
Algozino (Frankfort / Lincoln-Way East) was also credited with
an assist on the play. It was the senior defenseman's third goal
in as many games, and also his third of the season. Conrad had two
goals last year, as well as two in the 2001 season (his freshman
In the second half, the Huskie defense stepped up, only allowing
IPFW three shots on goal in attempts to equalize the game. Brent
Hartman (Gilbert, AZ) registered his second shutout in the last
four games, making four saves and bumping his Mid-American Conference
leading save percentage to 87.0%.
"Our defense locked things down very well this afternoon,"
Huskie head coach Steve Simmons said. "It's a tribute
to their efforts to get the shutout against a high-scoring team
like this." The Mastadons were averaging 2.6 goals per game
coming into the match.
The win pushes NIU's longest winning streak since 1999 to four games
heading into MAC play. Willy Roy's Huskies won five in a
row as the 1999 season came to a crescendo.
"Our confidence is much higher heading into MAC play this year,
because these guys have seen success with their own eyes,"
Simmons added. "The most important thing is that they know
why they're winning games, they understand what they need to do.
This is the type of game that we would have lost last year."
Northern Illinois looks to get off on the right foot in MAC play
when they play host to Western Michigan University on Sunday (September
26). Game time is set for 1 p.m. with free admission to the Huskie